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Like most people, Carrigan spent kidhood skinned into tigers and foxes: it takes puberty to know for sure that his birth body isn’t right. Too tall, too light, rigged with dubious external plumbing. He’s older, for one thing, and heavier, more centered. These things are certain.

So when he’s ready, at fourteen, he steps into the chamber and skins the aspect of a white-haired woman, eyes sharp and bold of nose. She loves it. Everyone claps when she comes out. There’s nothing magic about Carrigan’s new body–just time and care and chemistry–but, as with glass footwear, fit matters.